Veterans treated to breakfast at Senior Center

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NW1112 Senior Vet Breakfast C 3x4C

For years, they served others, and on Monday morning, Carter County veterans were served a special breakfast at the Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center.
Each year, the center offers veterans a free country breakfast as a way to say “thank you” for their service in the military.
Dozens of veterans came out to take part in the meal. Veterans from World War II through the current conflicts and from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and National Guard were present.
For many veterans, the breakfast is something they come out for every year.
“It’s very nice,” said Woody Whisenhunt, who served in the Navy from 1963 to 1967. “I come every year. It is a real good breakfast, too. You can’t beat their biscuits and gravy.”
Vietnam veteran John Davis described the breakfast as “fabulous.”
“It is great that they do this,” Davis said. “The veterans are kind of forgotten sometimes. It is nice they remember and want to do this for us.”
Veterans weren’t just in the dining room. Air Force veteran and senior center volunteer Jerry Bray was in the kitchen making biscuits, gravy and sausage for the breakfast buffet.
“I cook here every day, and that includes Veterans Day,” Bray said. “I enjoy doing it. It’s just my way to honor the other veterans.”
Navy veteran James Vaughn, who served from 1961 to 1964, dressed specially for the occasion. Vaughn brought out his uniform-issued pea coat to wear to the center’s breakfast. The coat still features his serial number and name printed on the inside.
“This coat is 53 years old,” Vaughn said. “It is in pretty good condition. This and my flat hat are the only two pieces of my uniform I have left.”
Vaughn said his hat was navy blue, one of the last to be made in that color before they were switched to white for sailor safety. Too many soldiers had been hit by cars while walking because the drivers could not see the men in their dark uniforms, he said. White hats made them more visible.
Center Director Kathy Dula introduced the Veterans Day breakfast around 10 years ago.
“I noticed all the restaurants were giving discounts for veterans,” Dula said. “We have so many veterans who come here. This is our way to honor them and to thank them for their service. We enjoy doing it for them.”
Photos of senior center members who served in the military were displayed on a wall during the breakfast. A video made a few years back featuring additional photos and stories of local veterans played in the background.
“We have played this every year,” Dula said. “So many of these guys are gone now, and so many were so young when they went in. It brings a tear to your eye. We are proud of our veterans. They need to be shown this appreciation more than they are.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox